It had followed him in his sleep, the sound of the sparrows. Here he still stood in the middle, the blooming forest in front and the ravenged city behind. He had been watching the forest for months now through the windows of the lab. It was a dream where the immortals laughed and ate, chatted and sang.

“We would like to close the door now,” the scientist told him.

He looked at the woman who had kindly taken care of him despite his unexpected appearence all those years ago.

“Sorry,” he said honestly.

“But you have to.”

He knew that it was a plea. She would never force her only experiment to do anything because in that place the two of them only had each other, but a failure was a failure. Even the stranger knew that. Now he just had to wait to die.

“What a bad lie,” he said putting his hand up over his eyes.

Through the spaces in his fingers he saw for the first time that Odalas was standing over him. He moved his hand.

“Do you wonder what immortals dream about?” The Stranger asked.

“No. Do this please,” Odalas said holding the slip of paper above him.

The Stranger regarded it disdainfully. He had thought they had come to an agreement.

“Why?”

“Do you really think I forgot you? Who do you think bought that couch?”

“It’s terrible leather.”

The man reached behind his back and brought forward a pistol, the stranger sat up, but Odalas didn’t point to shoot. Instead he held the barrel and offered The Stranger to take it.

“You were asking about this right.”

At first he only looked at it. He recognized it as Oliver’s gun.

“He was costing me money so I fired him,” Odalas explained, “If you complain about my things, then you’ll get to take their place. Are there any more questions?”

The Stranger sighed.

“No.”

“Good, you start tomorrow.”

With Odalas out of the room, The Stranger picked up the gun. He slid open the magazine cartridge and saw that it was loaded with a single bullet. Maybe he could clear his head if he got it over with now.

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